Born Kate Noelle Holmes on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, OH, Katie Holmes shot to fame as angst-ridden tomboy Joey Potter on the WB network's Dawson's Creek. Holmes grew up as part of a close-knit family in Toledo and first acted in high-school productions. Participation in a national model and talent convention landed her a trip to Los Angeles when she was 16, and it was there that Holmes auditioned for a role in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. The film, which was released in 1997, won critical acclaim, and Holmes' role caught the attention of Kevin Williamson. Williamson, known for his screenplays for such movies as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was casting roles for his new TV series, Dawson's Creek. Holmes was asked to audition, and did so via videotape. She won the part of Joey Potter, and the series, which premiered in January of 1998, met with a positive reception from both critics and television viewers. Soon the series' young stars were in hot demand, with Holmes in particular receiving attention for her measured and insightful performance as Joey.
It was not long before Holmes appeared in more filmns, like 1998's teen thriller Disturbing Behavior, and 1999's Go. In 2000, Holmes made high-profile turns in Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys and Sam Raimi's The Gift. The actress would play both teen and adult roles during this period, with films like Abandon, Phone Booth, and First Daughter, but the actress caught more press than ever in 2005, when her five year relationship with actor Chris Klein came to an end and the actress began dating Tom Cruise. Cruise had recently become publicly outspoken about his beliefs in Scientology, making volatile statements about the use of anti-depressants, and making several eratic public apperances that caused the media to question his mental stability, stirring speculation about cult-like themes in Scientology. These ideas were greatly exacerbated by Cruise's seemingly manic enthusiasm for his new love of Holmes, making a now infamous appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in which he bounced up and down on the couch and vigorously shook the talk show host by the arms while proclaiming his happiness.
In addition to this most curious public display, the pair were surrounded by additional rumors when Holmes, who had been a lifelong Catholic, converted to the church of Scientology and took on a Scientologist advisor to stay by her side through many of her daily activities. The couple's rumor-generating behavior was believed by some to be a publicity stunt, as the actors prepared to release Batman Begins and War of the Worlds, respectively. Regardless,t Holmes certainly found success as the female lead in the reinvigorated Batman franchise, as the film was a huge critical and commercial smash.
Cruise and Holmes would soon becom engaged, and Holmes would give birth to a baby girl named Suri in April of 2006, just a few weeks before the release of Cruise's Mission: Impossible III. Just as much speculation and curiosity surrounded the event. There were whispers of dangerous or inadvisable methods of childcare and feeding mandated by the practices of Scientology, but Holmes said little publicly of her new relationship, religion or role as a mother. After the birth, the couple finally set their date wedding, and were married in early July.
Holmes would continue to act, and numerous films would fill her resume over the coming years, including Thank You For Smoking, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, and Jack and Jill. She and Cruise would announce they were divorcing in 2012.